Women Absent From Sommelier Stage


TORONTO — At the Verity club in Toronto recently, 21 vino-loving hopefuls were vying for a chance to become world-class sommeliers, but only four of those contestants were women.

According to recent article in the Toronto Star, the lack of ladies isn’t uncommon in the food and beverage industry. In this case, of the competing wine enthusiasts, only three advance to a provincial round, and only one competes nationally and then internationally. When it comes to aspiring female sommeliers, the herd is already thinned.

In Canada, there are currently no female master sommeliers, reports Star writer Signe Langford. Some female industry professionals suspect that the glass ceiling remains low because it’s a traditionally male-dominated industry. “You have to over-perform in order to be taken seriously,” sommelier Doris Miculan Bradley told Langford. “If I had just done the bare minimum the way my male colleagues did, there’s no way opportunity would have knocked on my door.”

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